• Aug 23rd 2007 at 1:56PM
  • 5

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is the government's point-man and watchdog when it comes to automotive safety issues. Due to its teams of scientists and researchers, it is also the government's detective and repository of knowledge regarding such matters. And now, thanks to its recently elected leader, none of those scientists are able to comment on-the-record about any knowledge they might have.

Nicole R. Nason was appointed last year by the current administration. Her policy is that reporters can get information from NHTSA workers, but they can only get it on background, which means they can't name the source. Reporters often shy away from that kind of restriction. If reporters want an attributable source, they can interview Ms. Nason. Case closed. This is a policy also held by the Federal Railroad Administration, but issues with locomotives don't affect the masses anywhere near as much as issues with seat belts and crumple zones. For the NHTSA to adopt such a policy is, at best, odd.

According to Nason's chief of staff, the agency went to the central mouthpiece model because they were "finding a lot of stuff did not need to be on the record." We can only wonder about the incendiary quotes they found so titillating that they needed to muzzle the workers. If this policy were put to a crash test, it would get one star.

[Source: The New York Times]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      This lady has a control freak personality.
      All you workers will be pussy whipped to submission.
      • 8 Years Ago
      They don't let you have big engines in France...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Gotta love these hyper-sensitive times when the truth is as bad as a lie and being silent can get you sued just as fast.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Is it "1984"? 'Cause I could swear we were in the year 2007.
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